I hear a lot today about agreeing to disagree.
You know, “I see it this way. You see it that way. We’ll just agree to disagree.”
Sorry, I can’t do that.
As my friend and great social-minded theologian, Samuel Mudge said recently,
“Agreeing to disagree doesn’t work for a whole lot of people because sometimes, two people are discussing something that is an abstract idea to one, and life-and-death to the other.”
Think about that for a second. I’ll use my most personal examples for clarity.
Not having access to plastic straws might kill me.
Doing away with healthcare protections might kill me.
Using mental health or other disabilities as your excuse because you don’t want to talk about guns or other issues might kill me.
That’s how it works.
The same is true when you endorse leaders who overtly or covertly use their power and systems as a means of oppression, exclusion, and hate.
They aren’t all created equal. People are dying!
I will say this. We do need to listen to each other more.
I do believe most of us are not as far apart as it seems. Outside the top few, the people from the middle down are all being squeezed economically and otherwise.
Let’s work together to answer these more difficult questions. Maybe life isn’t supposed to be completely found in easy answers.
We’ve lost our ability to sit across from each other; to hear each other, and to listen to our individual and collective pain.
This isn’t a suggestion of mere tolerance. I’ll fight as long as I can against racism, ableism, and any other form of oppression, exclusion, and hate.
Inclusion is a table of equity and justice especially for people on the margins.
That’s what Jesus’ ministry is all about. He restored people to equitable, just community.
This isn’t an over-simplified version of love the sinner, hate the sin.
That’s just a slight modification of agreeing to disagree with a dash of power mixed in. That’s what got us here.
It’s just a reminder to listen because the cycle will never stop if we don’t do better.
I hope you’ll join me.
Wherever you are this day: Love Accepts You, No Exceptions.